Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2015 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market with the goal of raising $5 million for microlending programs worldwide—enough to help 135,000 people lift themselves out of poverty and start a new life.

“Microcredit offers many women living in poverty something they have never had before–a chance to gain financial independence,” said Philip Sansone, president and executive director for Whole Planet Foundation. “A loan of just $200 is enough to help her launch or expand a home-based business, earn a steady income and provide for her family. To put things into perspective, that’s less than the average American family of four spends each week on groceries alone.”*

Through March 31, shoppers across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. can find hundreds of ways to join the campaign online and in Whole Foods Market stores and communities:

·       Participate in one of hundreds of in-store and community fundraising events–from fashion shows and charity walks to bake sales and tasting events. Check local store calendars for upcoming events and details.

·       Take home a copy of “Liberation Soup,” Whole Planet Foundation’s new cookbook featuring authentic recipes from the kitchens of women microentrepreneurs from 35 countries, who have benefitted from the foundation’s support. Just $19.99 at Whole Foods Market; $5 from every copy sold goes back to the foundation to help fund more microloans.

·       Donate at wholeplanetfoundation.org or at store checkouts. Every Whole Foods Market store will collect donations during a specific two-week window between Feb. 18 and March 31.

For the first time, online donors will also be able to direct their dollars to fund microcredit programs in specific geographic regions via Whole Planet Foundation’s new Power of One tool. Donors can choose between microlending programs in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The online tool also shows donors how many people their contributions will impact in their chosen region over several decades in the future. For instance, a donation of $10 today to Whole Planet Foundation’s portfolio in Africa will help more than 5,100 people by the year 2070, based on historical data and past program successes.** Each donation multiplies over time, as the loan is repaid and re-loaned again and again.   

Through $60 million in grants to microfinance institutions, Whole Planet Foundation has funded 1 million microloans to individuals in 61 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the U.S., serving a total of 5 million people.

For more information about Whole Planet Foundation and the 2015 Prosperity Campaign, visit wholeplanetfoundation.org.

*USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food report for December 2014; cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/CostofFoodDec2014_0.pdf

**The impact of each single donation is calculated based on financial metrics and historical data reported by Whole Planet Foundation's microfinance partners by region. For more metrics and information, visit: wholeplanetfoundation.org/our-impact/